About

On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

Recent Comments

September 2016
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Could The Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet Fight Really Hinge On Magazines?

Since the launch of the very first Kindle eReader, the persistent and constantly repeated complaint has been that it lacks color.  Everything else that began problematically, from screen refresh time to clunky controls, has been addressed in later iterations of the Kindle line.  Sadly, you just can’t do much yet in terms of color without sacrificing the E Ink screen.  Barnes & Noble managed to effectively market their Nook Color for over a year on nothing more than the ability to overcome this limitation (regardless of the resultant shortcomings of their device) and it was inevitable that it be a big issue in terms of Kindle Fire reviewing, no matter how much Amazon might prefer to focus on other things.

How big a deal could this possibly be, though?  Upon closer inspection, more than I thought.  The obvious example that most people jump to for their color reading needs is the magazine.  Let’s simply disregard that one for the time being, though.  It involves a slightly different pricing model since only the newest issue of a given publication is likely to be in demand, shortening the life of each installment to a month or so in many cases.  I would love to comment but, without a better understanding of how the advertising model generally makes the transition to the sort of device that has the potential to simply block out images with a few tweaks, I simply don’t feel qualified at the moment.

We can definitely consider general book sales, though.  Assume that the majority of book sales are fiction.  Particularly Romance novels, I’m told.  Not too much need for color illustration in those, for the most part.  That does not mean that non-fiction is a negligible area, however.  Self Help and History are two of the most impressive genres of the past few years in terms of sales.  Both of them, in their own way can benefit from the inclusion of color.

While this is definitely important, though, it’s difficult to believe that it will really be a major factor moving into the next round of Kindle vs Nook competition.  Barnes & Noble’s book focus is completely understandable.  It only makes sense to do what you know best and they simply don’t have the structure in place to handle much else.  Amazon has already moved past that, adding competing capabilities and book selections almost in passing, and brought the emphasis around to video.

The Kindle Fire might not be a match for the iPad when it comes to hardware, but Amazon is building up their whole digital presence to the point of rivaling Apple’s more established one.  The book emphasis only made sense as long as the limitations of the device being sold restricted use to that media.  The future will be an overall digital experience.  Sure magazines and color reading will be a part of it, but on their own the effect just doesn’t seem likely to be big enough to matter.  There are rumors of a Nook Tablet video store on the horizon, as well as a push to increase the app content for that line of devices.  That’s likely to make a far bigger difference.

Kindle Update Adds Real Page Numbers and More

It appears that Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) has been doing some customer polling, or at least watching their forums, and came up with a few new features for an upcoming Kindle software update as a result.  While this has not rolled out to the public as an official release just yet, they are offering an Early Preview of the update for manual download through the website at this page.  I’ve got to admit, this addresses a few long standing concerns.

Real Page Numbers

Foremost among user complaints about the Kindle has often been the progress indicator.  Hard to share a passage you like with friends and family when you can’t just suggest that they turn to a specific page in their own copy, right?  Well, now Amazon is adding in corresponding page numbering between print and digital copies of their library, beginning with the top 100 most popular books that offer both formats and moving on from there.

Public Notes

You know how you can annotate and highlight things in your favorite Kindle books?  Well, now you’ll be able to share those markups with anybody who’s interested.  It opens up new avenues of communication for friends, families, reading clubs, authors, and pretty much anybody who spends time seriously thinking about their reading.  Note that this is an optional feature that is not turned on by default, so there is no danger of sharing inadvertently as far as I can tell (if that’s a concern for you).

Post-Reading Interview(aka “Before You Go…”)

Many people have realized the flaw of the user rating system on Amazon and many other sites.  Often users will only make the effort to comment if the book was particularly bad or amazingly good.  Even then, if you can’t get to it right away while it’s fresh in your mind, what’s the point?  Now, when you finish your book you will be given a chance to rate the book, share a note on the book (via the Facebook and such),and get some recommendations on things to read both based on the author you just read and from a selection of more general personalized recommendations.  It’s fairly unobtrusive and shouldn’t negatively affect your reading experience, while at the same time having the chance to improve the reliability of the rating system on the Kindle store.

New Periodical Layout

Magazines and Newspapers are becoming a bigger and bigger thing in the eReader world.  The new layout makes them that much easier to browse.  There’s not much more to say about it than that it makes more sense this way and seems to speed up browsing magazines for the Kindle considerably.

Lots of fun new stuff to play with in this Kindle software update.  Nothing game changing, necessarily, just a bunch of stuff that users have been asking for.  It’s nice to see that Amazon’s still interested in getting the Kindle updates going out even when there aren’t any major problems needing to be addressed in the software.  I’m going to play around with it a bit more and post some impressions in the near future if I get a chance.  Let me know how it’s working for you.